Spy x Family, Episode 11, Stella Review: Excellent Commentary on Silent Drowning.

While the previous, hilarious episode of Spy x Family detailed Anya’s failed attempt to get a Stella Star through PE, Episode 11, “Stella”, depicts her actually obtaining one through a heroic act.
Directed by Toshifumi Akai, this episode also begins on a hilarious note, with Anya glumly watching her Bondman cartoon while the lines of dialogue depressingly match up with Loid looking at all the Fs she received for her tests.
“This can’t be happening!” One of the cartoon characters cries out as we see Loid going over all of the failed tests, before Anya attempts to flee from studying when the lights are turned on.
Eventually, both Loid and Yor sit down with Anya in an attempt to help her study and Anya again shows she can learn through her cartoon, prompting Loid to attempt this new study technique, only for it to be revealed to us that Anya failed because she read the wrong people’s minds about the answers for the test.
She decides to learn which student is best at which subject so she can cheat off them, sporting a humorously evil grin at the thought.
Unfortunately, it is here that we see the downside of Anya’s telepathy, as she hears Loid thinking that if she were to get perfect scores so suddenly then it could make her classmates shun her.
This terrifies Anya, once more showing why she has not revealed her powers to either of her parents, as she believes it will disgust them and they will abandon her.
They obviously would not but it is that fear which shows just how rough Anya had it back when she was with the organization who created her, since they instilled this fear in her.
Seeing that studying isn’t working, Loid decides to teach Anya to excel in other areas such as art, music and sports.
Cue a comedic sequence of Anya failing at absolutley all of these, leading to Loid deciding to take Anya on a special father daughter “ooting.”
In reality, this is a trip to help at a hostpital so Anya can potentially gain a Stella Star through community service.
Cue yet another hilarious sequence of Anya failing at all the jobs she is given, leading to the head nurse yelling at her and Loid to leave.
As they do so, both looking dejected, the perspective cuts from them to a young boy named Ken who is going through physical therapy to help his broken leg.
However, he heads out to the pool ahead of his mother and falls in, beginning to drown, completley and utterly silent.
This is a fantastic piece of commentary Spy x Family is doing here, educating those who do not know that a drowning can happen in complete silence with no one noticing.
Thankfully, Anya certainly notices due to her telepathy and, still afraid of Loid abandoning her if he learns the truth of her powers, stages a situation where she runs to the pool in an attempt to save Ken that looks coincidental.
Unfortunately, Anya cannot swim very well herself, leading to her almost drowning as well, but thankfully Loid is there to rescue them, pulling both Anya and Ken out of the water, before again repeating the commentary of drowning often being silent for both the characters and the viewer.
Anya is rightfully hailed as a hero for her actions, leading to her gaining her first Stella Star, the first of the first-graders so do so.
The happy face Anya pulls during her award ceremony is pretty funny, along with Becky’s, “I’m really proud of you for some reason” line.
The episode only gets funnier as it goes on, with Anya wanting Loid to cook for her instead of Yor (can’t really blame her though), and Anya presenting an overly smug persona at Eden College the next day, demanding that Becky call her “Starlight Anya.”
Anya even begins to think that Damian will want to be friends with her now, helping Twilight’s mission succeed, only for Damian to immediately cut this down by declaring that she shouldn’t get a big head.
Yet, Damian still proves to be a good kid at heart, as he supports Anya when some of his fellow students begin spreading vile rumors of her pushing Ken in the pool to fake saving him, declaring that Eden College would never hand out a Stella by mistake.
Although, he does admit to himself that he wishes Anya cheated, so she wouldn’t be ahead of him.
Anya and Becky later have lunch togethor and Becky says Anya should ask for a reward for her actions, like a dog.
After reading Damian’s mind to learn that he too has a dog, Anya decides to ask Loid and Yor for one as a reward, so that she can get closer with Damian for Twilight’s mission.
Anya’s request for a dog goes over well with Loird and Yor but Yor imagines a big dog ripping Anya to shreds so she asks for a little puppy instead… only for Yor to imagine the puppy killing Anya with a knife.
Anya being horrified by Yor’s messed up way of thinking never stops being funny.
As they look through a dog book to find the perfect one for Anya, she points out a fox terrior, which I know is a good choice since I have one, but fate may have other ideas, as we cut to a terrorist cell who plan to use their captive dogs as bombs.
One of these dogs, a large and fluffy one, has a mysterious vision of the Forger family.
Why is it having a vision of them and what does it mean?
Well, we’ll have to wait for the second cour to find out because the final episode of the first cour is a filler episode, although a good one.
All in all, “Stella” is another great episode of Spy x Family with plenty of funny moments.
The big thing I have to commend it for, though, is educating its viewers on how drownings can be silent so to always pay attention when at a pool.
After all, someone could watch this episode and because of it later realize that someone is drowning and save their lives.
You never know.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode 11 Review: An Absolute Insult.

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Coming into the Season Two finale, and most likely series finale, of The Promised Neverland, I was not expecting it to be good.
The prior episodes had been of such low quality that the bar was almost floor level.
Well, the final episode was so much worse than I could have possibly feared, not just lowering the bar to the floor but right down to the damn basement.
This episode was directed by Yukiko Imai, Yoshiki Kitai, and Hiroki Itai, and written by… oh, wait, that’s right, the people who wrote the last couple of episodes, including this one, don’t actually want credit for it.
It’s almost like they know how absolutley insulting this episode is, crazy right?
Also, yes, I did just say insulting because that is exactly what Episode 11 is.
I suppose the most accurate way I can describe it is that it’s like a person dangling a delicious ice cream in a child’s face and then, while the child is distracted, they take the opportunity to punch them in the face.
But, before I get to the insulting scene that inspired this analogy, I have to talk about the expectedly bad opening to the episode, which sees the conclusion to Peter Ratri’s storyline.
This followed from the terrible cliffhanger in last week’s episode of Emma actually offering a chance for Peter to come and be free with them.
Again, this bad scene was in the manga so Cloverworks admittedly did not have much to work with here but, somehow, they managed to make it even worse than the manga counterpart.
The animation of this scene is absolutley abysmal, with constant still frames used during Peter’s backstory scene, where its revealed that he betrayed his brother and had him executed because he became William Minerva and tried to help the farm children.
It’s clear they had very little budget from this scene, otherwise this was a really incompetant way of animating it.
Almost as incompetant as animating Peter’s knife with absolutley no blood on it, despite the fact that he slit his own throat with it.
I mean, seriously, they want us to be shocked by Peter’s suicide but they just ruin it with this glaring error that draws you out of the moment.
Not that it was an intense or interesting moment to begin with.
Then, there’s the Isabella scene, where the children all just immediately forgive her for planning to send them to their deaths.
So, Isabella doesn’t end up sacrificing herself for them in this verion, no, instead she concludes her story by going with them all to the human world.
This was pretty disappointing to me because Isabella’s death is one of the most emotional moments of the manga, especially how she calls out to Ray in her final moments.
Here, there was very little acknowledgement that Ray was actually her son.
Come to think of it, why the heck was there that anime only scene in Episode Four that hyped Isabella up as a big bad villain if they were just going to give Isabella the exact same storyline she had in the manga, only for her not to die?
This all renders that new scene completley pointless.
Just like how Sonju’s scene, where he reveals in Episode Three that he wants to eat humans one day, is rendered pointless by it never being brought up in this episode.
Why add that if you’re just not going to follow up on it later?
It’s honestly laughable that a character like Vylk had more importance in these final episodes than freaking Sonju and Mujika.
Not only that, but Cloverworks actively teases us with things we are never going to get now.
They show the Goldy Pond door and the Queen and her nobles but these things will most likely never be explored because this is definitley the final episode.
Way to tease us with things we won’t be getting, Cloverworks.
But now, we get into the really insulting part.
The scenes that made me simultaneously laugh and yell at the screen in outrage.
First, we get the moment when the characters are walking through the door to the human world.
Only, what’s this? Emma, Ray, Norman, and the Lambda escapees are planning on staying behind with Sonju and Mujika to change the demon world?
Oh, okay, so this means that we are going to get a season three and they are going to adapt the Goldy Pond and the Queen arcs in the third season.
Well, I’m not sure how I feel about this, considering that the character development is compromised because of how things were swapped around and rushed in the second season, but I’m willing to see where this goes.
And now we’re getting some kind of montage to build into this next season, alright, interesting, and is that Emma with The One, okay… wait, what?
Is that Emma and the others about to launch an attack on the demon capital?
Is that Mujika being crowned queen?
Is that Emma saying goodbye to Mujika?
Is that Emma reuinting with Phil and the others, making that scene where it looked like we were going to get a season three nothing more than build up for a slideshow?
What?
A slideshow?
You’re kidding!
This is how you end the series?
You tease us with a potential season three and then you hit us with a slideshow montage of what we could have got in this potential season three before ending the story entirely?
Who thought this would be a good idea?
No, they had to have known it was a bad idea because why else would no one be claiming responsibility for writing it?
This is what I meant when I said that the final episode is like a person dangling an ice cream in front of a child’s face before punching them while they’re distracted.
The child is us, the ice cream is the teasing of a third season, and the person punching the child is Cloverworks giving us a freaking slideshow montage instead.
This was insulting.
The absolute audactity of this moment left me wondering what the hell the writers were thinking.
I mean, why didn’t they just have Emma and the others go to the human world in the first place?
Why get us excited for a potential season three where they would adapt the missing arcs, only to pull the rug out from under us and show the scenes we all wanted to see in a slideshow?
What a terrible episode, no, a terrible adaptation.
You know what?
I’m going to say it.
This is worse than Tokyo Ghoul‘s adaptation.
That’s right, I said it.
At least Studio Pierrot didn’t have the audacity to unjustly tease us with the missing stuff.
This episode is the equivalent of how it would have been if Tokyo Ghoul √A’s ending had been a montage of all the events in Tokyo Ghoul: Re, which they then refused to show us.
An absolute insult to any fan of the manga and anime.
What a joke.
I now feel comfortable saying that Season Two of The Promised Neverland is one of the worst adaptations of all time.
Thank god this miserable experience is over.

My Hero Academia Season Four Episode 11, Lemillion Review: A Hero’s Sacrifice.

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For a long time, the tenth episode of season two, “Shoto Todoroki: Origin” was my favourite episode of My Hero Academia. 
Well, I can easily say that the episode just got beaten by the eleventh of season four, “Lemillion”, which features the heroic sacrifice of Mirio Togata.
Not of his life but his quirk.
The build up to this moment is excellent, with the opening of Overhaul revealing the bullets that can remove a quirk forever serving as sinister foreshadowing for what is to come.
Before this tragic moment occurs, though, the episode picks up from where “Temp Squad” left off with Mimic attempting to crush both the heroes and the League of Villains.
However, this does not go well for him because Deku manages to expose his hiding place, giving Aizawa enough time to disable his quirk and take him off the playing field.
With Mimic out of the picture, the episode then cuts to Mirio catching up to Overhaul and his right hand man Chronostasis, who have Eri.
However, before he can do anything, he is attacked by the two remaining members of the Eight Bullets of the Hassaikai, Shin Nemoto and Deidoro Sakai, who both have pretty tough quirks to get through.
Nemoto’s is confession, which allows him to make any person answer his questions truthfully; a quirk that he uses pretty humorously on Twice and Toga in a flashback.
As for Sakai, his quirk is Slosh, which means he can transfer his drunkenness to other people.
For the brief time the two minions of Overhaul are on screen they have a pretty comedic dynamic, with one gag of Sakai throwing a bottle at Nemoto leaving me in fits of laughter.
The laughter fades quickly, however, as Mirio fights past them and reaches Overhaul, ripping Eri from Chronostasis’ arms and declaring to Eri that he will be her hero.
This leads to Overhaul chastising Eri, cruelly calling her cursed.
Mirio is outraged that he would say that to his own daughter, leading to one of the most chilling moments in the episode where Overhaul removes his glove, coldly reveals that he has no children, and then immediately going on the attack.
On a side note, while I do believe the sub of My Hero Academia is better than the dub, the English voice actor of Overhaul, Kellen Goff, does a great job here, especially with the chuckle of amusement he adds to his voice.
The following fight between Mirio and Overhaul is fantastic, with both of their quirks being brilliantly used.
From Overhaul deconstructing the ground and then reconstructing it as deadly spikes, to Mirio using his permeation to pass through Eri to kick Chronostasis and then shield Eri with his cape only to ambush the two.
Mirio would have beaten Overhaul had it not been for Nemoto who, through his blind devotion to Overhaul, managed to crawl to the battlefield.
Receiving a quirk removing bullet from the young head, Nemoto realizes the only way he will be able to hit Mirio is to trick him into shielding Eri.
And so Mirio’s sacrifice commences, with him taking the bullet for Eri with a smile on his face, comforting her.
We then get a flashback to Mirio’s journey to becoming a hero and Overhaul’s gleeful cry (completely ignoring Nemoto’s pleas for recognition) makes us think that Mirio’s dream is over.
Until this perception is completely shattered as Mirio keeps fighting, despite losing his quirk, and manages to hold Overhaul off and protect Eri until help arrives.
As Mirio says, no matter what he’s still Lemillion.
This is by far the most inspirational scene of My Hero Academia with everything coming together from the voice acting, to the animation, to the music, it’s all fantastic.
The episode really shows why I placed Mirio at number eight on my top 10 My Hero Academia characters list.
“Lemillion” is, without a doubt, my favourite episode of the entire series so far.